Teagasc and Health and Safety Authority Renew Agreement to Promote Farm Health and Safety
Teagasc and the Health and Safety Authority have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding to work jointly to promote improved farm health and Safety adoption by farmers in Ireland. The agreement is a renewal of a Joint Initiative in place since 2005, which developed the Farm Health and Safety Code of Practice. The Joint Initiative will operate in conjunction with the Farm Safety Partnership advisory committee to the H.S.A, which is representative of farming organisations and state agencies with a role in promoting farm health and safety.
The new Joint Initiative takes place against the background of an on-going trend of fatal and serious accidents on farms. In 2013, 18 persons have lost their lives on farms and an estimated 2,500 serious farm accidents take place each year. A recent study has also indicated that farmer’s health is poorer than for other occupational groups.
Teagasc Director Professor Gerry Boyle stated that the Teagasc participation in the Joint Agreement will be to encourage positive health and safety behaviour change among farmers and support follow-through on the intention. Teagasc will use its national knowledge transfer system of training, advice provision and network of Discussion groups to assist farmers with health and safety adoption. Teagasc also has a number of current health and safety research projects in progress which will provide new knowledge to assist farmers.
Martin O’Halloran, Chief Executive Officer, Health and Safety Authority said that the collaboration between the H.S.A and Teagasc in promoting farm safety and health has been very effective. Research carried out by the organisation provides us with a better understanding of what influences people’s behaviour leading to an accident occurring. There is a constant need for vigilance on farms in relation to safety and we urge all farmers to take time to assess the risks on their farms and take corrective action. The work of other organisations through the Farm Safety Partnership in promoting health and safety on farms is also acknowledged.